Recently I was interviewed about social media marketing mistakes for an article on Newsday.com. The article is now published online and a couple of my comments are included:
I like to prep for interviews so I don't come off sounding hesitant or inarticulate. Here are five mistakes I identified that some companies make when it comes to social media marketing.
- No blog. Many people have been asking why they need a blog if Facebook and twitter are so popular. Well, your blog is YOUR real estate on the web and Facebook and twitter belong to those companies. You are at the mercy of the powers beyond your control. What if a platform gets hacked, goes down, is sold and shut down? It's important to a presence on diverse social platforms so if one site goes down, you still have other avenues of communication. Your blog is your home base and that's where ultimately, you want to funnel your friends and followers.
- Mixing business and personal. While revealing your human side is critical to building trust and relationships, it can be confusing for your followers when you mix business and personal content on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. One way around this on Facebook, for example, is to keep your personal profile personal for friends and family, and set up a Fan Page to connect with clients, customers, vendors, colleagues and prospects.
- Lack of integration. To be efficient with your time and energy, it's important to link your social sites together. You're attracting different people on different platforms and you can increase engagement when you let them know how they can connect with you on other platforms. And, of course, you want to make sure your blog posts - your most valuable content - is being pulled into all sites where it's allowed so you can draw people back to your home base.
- No consistent image. For the purpose of developing your online persona , you want all your sites to have a consistent image and that includes the picture you use as an avatar. When someone finds you on LinkedIn and follows a link to your blog, you want them to feel confident they've landed in the right place and you're giving them a congruent experience.
- Continually pushing your message without participating and conversing. Give before you get, as my colleague Kathleen Gage often says. It's about the conversation and in the end the conversation builds the relationship, the trust and the confidence to do business with you.
What mistakes would you add to this list? This is an evolving environment and we're all learning best practices for using blogs and other social networking sites for business. Would love to hear your ideas for best practices and mistakes to avoid.
UPDATE: follow up post on How Personal Should You Get in Social Media?